Solar Ice-cream cart to beat the summer heat

Be it sweating summer in Mumbai and Chennai locations or scorching heat in North India, we all crave for some chilled juice or ice-cream during this time. But often we are faced with issue of coolness of the juice or melting ice-cream. Many a times we have to eat that melting ice-cream instead of the frosted one. This ruins the enjoyment of the chilled juice or ice-cream and leaves us more annoyed in the already heated weather.

Mahesh Rathi

Similar issue was faced by Mahesh Rathi last summer while he was travelling to Delhi. Since it was the month of May, summer was at its peak. To his relief, he could see some ice cream vendors on the road side, so, he pulled over to enjoy an ice cream candy. He bought one orange candy from the vendor, but found it to be not completely frozen making small chunks from the candy falling apart. As he complained to the vendor and asked him to replace it, he apologized and said that he could definitely replace it but that wouldn’t serve the purpose as all the ice cream had similar condition. He further explained that it’s a common occurrence as the freezer starts becoming ineffective after 2 pm. Mahesh had no option but to manage with the semi-frozen ice cream as he could see it was no one’s fault.

This incidence left Mahesh wondering what could be done to solve this issue. He has been working in the area of renewable energy, and always pondered over the fact that there are products for heating systems using solar power but why is there no such equipment in the market for refrigeration (using solar power) as well. But this thought was not triggering enough to do something about it, perhaps because he never saw such a technology solving any real problem. When he faced this problem of semi-frozen ice cream, it really triggered him to work towards it. After a year of hard work, he finally developed this refrigerator which can harness solar energy to run itself.

This innovation which he calls as Smart Kart is really pioneering and based on renewable energy. He has the prototype ready and is preparing to launch this in market before summer of coming year with the help of some Crowd funding platforms. He also has plans to introduce this ice cream carts at maximum places in our country which will also provide clean, chilled RO water at very affordable cost to the common man. Also in future we can use this carts to sell fresh fruits, vegetables, fruit juices without maintaining any shop or infrastructure for that.

This innovation of Mahesh Rathi not only has solved problem of energy consumption but also has social impact of providing satisfaction to the customers. It will be very useful especially in rural places where the electricity is scarce and this will allow the villagers too, to enjoy the ice-cream. Sharing his vision and looking at his hard work, it also became his mother’s dream to make this project successful. She wanted to be the first one to buy the first ice-cream from Smart Kart but alas, he cannot fulfil this desire of her any more as he lost her in a road accident in August. But he pledges to fulfil this dream so that she will be proud of him wherever she is!!


Lilypads, your house in the water to overcome nature’s fury

Have you ever wondered, what are the housing options in the face of melting glaciers, tsunami, hurricanes and other forms of natures fury towards mankind. The planet is warming, glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising, which means that people living in low-lying areas will be displaced over the next century. That’s why architect Vincent Callebaut designed Lilypads, self-sufficient floating cities that would each accommodate up to 50,000 people.


Inspired by the shape of Victoria water lilies, these eco-cities would each be made of polyester fibers and feature three mountains and marinas — dedicated to work, shopping and entertainment.

Aquaculture farms and suspended gardens would be located below the water line, and the cities would run on renewable energy. This design has zero carbon emission and it produces more energy than it consumes.Energy sources could include:biomass osmotic power, phytopurification, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, tidal power, wind energy.

Lilypad is touted by Callebaut as a prototypical auto-sufficient amphibious city, a tenable solution to the rising water levels. In addition to providing housing for those displaced by the transforming land/water relationships, Lilypad also produces sustainable energy for developed regions.

Callebaut asserts that the earth’s temperature may rise as much as 1° Celsius in the 21st causing our oceans to rise as much as one full meter and displacing as many as 50 million people. He further asserts that if the oceans rise two meters, as many as 300 million people could be displaced. So instead of the people moving inland (slowly over the span of 100 years as the water rises) the architect has designed a “unique” solution for all those people who have been (or will be) displaced by global flooding – move them onto the water. But this city doesn’t just rise up and down with the tide. Callebaut wants the entire city to be able to float all around the world, moving on natural ocean currents.

Vincent Callebaut is a Belgian architect known for his eco-friendly projects. He has received many awards.

Some of the recent ones include:
• First Prize Winner in Taipei, Taiwan, for his Luxurious Residential Tower (2010) [2]
• First Prize Winner in Royat, France for his Thermal Swimming Pool (2009)

 Callebaut plans for his Lilypad concept to become a reality in 2100, but this is sure to be an expensive piece of real estate so one may wonder how displaced climate change refugees will afford to live on these state-of-the-art floating cities.

With the kind of monsoons in Mumbai and other parts of India and South East Asia, it is time to go trekking!!